Is your church the way you want it?  Be honest.  Is your congregation the way you believe God wants it?  Be honest.

I believe the answer to those questions is often “no.”  And I’m sorry for you.  Most church leaders work very hard and are committed to Jesus.  Most church members really want the congregation to be the way it should be.  But it just doesn’t seem to be fully so.

We do programs.  We have Bible studies.  We visit people in the hospital.  We do churchy things.  Why isn’t it exactly as it should be?

I saw an article where a pastor said his church was growing because it was a Spirit-driven congregation, and then he pointed to other denominations in the area which were not Spirit-driven as he saw it.  Ouch.

I have no interest in evaluating denominations.  Indeed, I believe every church should be Spirit-driven.  This isn’t about whether a congregation has certain gifts of the Spirit present.  This is about your church being what God wants it to be.  Myers-Briggs says there are 16 personality types.  God needs that many styles of worship to connect with who we are as people.

So how does a church pursue being a Spirit-driven congregation?  I believe it follows what we at The Effective Church Group call the five discipleship questions.

  • Does your congregation delve into the Bible?  This is not just to know Bible facts, but to engage the Bible in life-changing ways as to how God speaks to our hearts through it.
  • Does your congregation pursue prayer?  This is not just to tell God what we think we want Him to do, but to place at least as much time listening for that still small voice of God’s leading.
  • Does your congregation share faith stories?  This is not just a Sunday morning testimonial, but integrating how God impacts our lives in the normal conversations of daily life.
  • Does your congregation witness faith?  This is not just sending our money to do good things, but to send ourselves intentionally and publicly into God’s world in the name of Jesus.
  • Does your congregation encourage people in faith?  This is not just saying you will pray for someone (and maybe forget to do so), but to truly listen to people’s stories of struggle and encourage them with God’s promises, your walking with them, and praying with them right then and there.

If you are committed to a vision for incorporating these attributes into your congregation, I believe you will have an ever-increasing Spirit-driven congregation.

So what do you think?  I would love to hear your response as to what a Spirit-driven church looks like.  For more in-depth information, whether you are in an established church or starting a new one, check out the Church Turnaround Kit which will help create this type of culture in your congregation.